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Andersons named “Outstanding Conservationists for 2016” By Wright Soil and Water Conservation District

The Anderson Family

The recipient of the “Outstanding Conservationist” award is selected by the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Board and awarded by “The Farmer” magazine at the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual meeting in early December.  This is an important recognition because it acknowledges the accomplishments and efforts of a local cooperator in the area of soil and water protection and conservation.  The 2016 award recipients selected by the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District are Harlan and Mary Anderson of Cokato, MN.

Harlan Anderson can usually be found on the 1,000 acres of his 1871, 4th generation homestead, “Idle Acres”.  Located north of Cokato, this farm was the first to be certified under the Minnesota Agriculture Water Quality Program in Wright County.  This voluntary program certifies farmers for managing the land within their operation in a way that protects water quality.  Harlan wears many hats: farmer, conservationist, entrepreneur, pilot, political figure, veterinarian and writer.  Land stewardship ideals of his father and grandmother, whom firmly believed in agriculture that works with conservation instead of against, shapes the way the Andersons’ (Harlan, wife Mary, two sons Mark and Richard) manage their beautifully integrated operation.  Insecticide-free, alfalfa, corn, soybeans, wheat rotation hosts 160 bee hives.  The no-till fields are fertilized with local liquid manure.  Cover crops and inter-seeding provide soil stability.  While conservation is not always easy, Harlan advises “You learn what works, what doesn’t and always keep learning.”

The Wright SWCD would like to congratulate Harlan and Mary Anderson for their continued efforts towards farming with the environment in mind.

No-Till Soybeans